Issues: Energy

Challenge:

Increased energy development such as oil, gas, solar, wind and geothermal are threatening public-lands hunting and fishing opportunities across the country. In the past 15 years, more than 40 million acres of the West have been leased for development. Recently, oil and gas companies have been especially aggressive in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming while demands for renewable energy production have drastically compounded the issue by creating a “land rush” on areas available for development.

Unfortunately, many of the locations pressured for energy development also hold some of the nation's best hunting for mule deer, elk, pronghorn and sage grouse, in addition to blue-ribbon fishing for cutthroat, rainbow and brown trout. Hastily developed energy projects can dramatically affect fish and game populations, as seen in the Atlantic Rim region of Wyoming.

The TRCP supports responsible energy development and is working to ensure development proceeds in a way that sustains and conserves fish and wildlife populations and sustainable opportunities for hunting and fishing for future generations.

Strategy:

The TRCP and our conservation partners are actively engaged in policy debates about the future of our fish and wildlife resources. We seek to find solutions for domestic energy development by participating in all levels of policy development. By working both the local and national levels, sportsmen are able to ensure fish and wildlife are adequately managed during energy development.

The TRCP works with our partners to ensure energy development is balanced with the needs of fish and wildlife. The TRCP's energy program is guided by our policy council and a a team of biologists and experts working on our Fish, Wildlife and Energy Working Group. The FWEWG developed a set of principles – FACTS for Fish and Wildlife – that call on the federal government and energy industry to address Funding, Accountability, Coordination, Transparency and Science when making decisions on whether and how to allow energy development on lands that contain valuable fish and wildlife resources.

Action:

The TRCP partners with the National Wildlife Federation and Trout Unlimited to lead Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development, a coalition of more than 500 businesses, organizations and individuals dedicated to balancing energy development with other resource values and conserving irreplaceable habitats so future generations can hunt and fish on America’s public lands.

TRCP has partnered with The High Lonesome Ranch in western Colorado to develop a model landscape that demonstrates the principles of responsible energy development in diverse, mixed private and public lands ownership.

Our nation’s growing reliance on renewable energy sources – solar, wind, geothermal and wave – prompted TRCP and its partners to develop sensible principles for renewable energy development. Read the SFRED coalitions report on 10 Ways to be Smart from the Start when developing renewable energy on public lands.

There also has been a growing need for expanded transmission capabilities. The TRCP undertook a comprehensive study to better understand energy transmission policy, siting and sportsmen’s interests. Read Hunting and Angling on the Line: Transmission Policy, Siting and Sportsmen's Interests.

To learn more about energy development activities in your area e-mail Center for Responsible Energy Development Director Ed Arnett.

Related Content

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Press Releases

Reports

  • Western Sportsmen LWCF Letter

    The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is one of the West’s most important tools for conserving fish and wildlife habitat. In this letter, western sportsmen urge Congress to make LWCF a priority in fiscal year 2015 and beyond. Download the Report

    • TRCP 2014 Policy Agenda

      In the TRCP's 2014 Conservation Policy Agenda we outline priority issues for sportsmen and conservation as well as our expectations for leadership from the White House and Congress in the coming year. Download the Report

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Issues

Faces of the TRCP

Our fish and wildlife populations and wild places are facing challenges that call into question the survival of America’s hunting and fishing traditions. We’re working to ensure a positive future for all species treasured by sportsmen – and to sustain our nation’s unique outdoor heritage.

Neil Thagard

Western Outreach Director